This project will investigate the rationale, function and impact of funding for the translation, publication and promotion of European literature. State, supranational and third-sector structures for funding translations have been in place for several decades across Europe, promoting literary and cultural diversity. Applying sociological tools to translation, literary and cultural studies, this research will analyse how recent and current schemes inform practical decisions on acquisition, publishing and marketing strategies by target publishers across multiple European countries.
The research is a quantitative-qualitative mix focusing on the sorely under-researched area of less translated European literatures. A historical survey of past translation measures and outputs against the backdrop of cultural, economic and political developments in Europe since the 1970s will form the springboard for the qualitative part of the project. Using semi-structured interviews, it will explore the decision-making process of acquisition editors in the target publishing houses and the function of translation funding measures across multiple European countries.
A better understanding of the practical mechanisms that support the cultural and literary diversity in Europe will help identify the current shortcomings and future shape of policy and practice. By combining his experience of professional and scholarly contexts, the applicant will generate a deep, two-way transfer of knowledge and restart his career by radically expanding his research profile and capacity. This research will, moreover, contribute fundamentally to the sociology of literature, book history, translation, policy and international relations research, and potentially transform professional practice and the thinking of policy-makers across Europe. It will be a source of knowledge intended to prompt reflection and inform future actions including data-driven policy making.